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CCG Medicines Optimisation Team drives down rates of antibiotic use

5th May 2016 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

A project which has improved the way in which patients are prescribed antibiotics has been shortlisted for a major award by Public Health England.

The project to drive down the high rates of antibiotic prescribing in the city as well as tackling patients’ resistance to antibiotics began in 2013 when pharmacists and managers from Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) lead a practice audit which highlighted that there was inconsistency across city practices for prescribing antibiotics.

During April to December 2014, city practices dispensed 183,021 prescriptions for antibiotics. During April to December 2015 the CCG saw a 17 per cent reduction in number of items dispensed (151,135).

The routine usage of antibiotics to treat viral infections historically, has led to certain bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant. This has a knock on effect when treating life-threatening conditions, such as MRSA which is currently resistant to several antibiotics.

The audit was used to find out how practices were using antibiotics, what infections they were prescribing them for and how often they were being prescribed. As a result, a number of changes took place in the prescribing of antibiotics in Leicester City.

Firstly a new robust prescribing policy and guidance has been developed to ensure there is now consistent guidance including prescribing for a wider range of health conditions, across all practices in the city.

Secondly, as part of the audit, the CCG signed up to the Antibiotic Guardian pledge from Public Health England. Through this audit each GP practice has a nominated Antibiotic Guardian, whose responsibility is to oversee that antibiotics are prescribed in the most effective way for patients at the practice, reducing the need for further doses, as well as ensuring the prescription is appropriate to treat their illness or infection, to further reduce patients’ resistance to antibiotics in line with the guidance.

The audit also helped GPs improve patient education by providing information leaflets around what patients needed to know about antibiotics and their use.

The project has now been shortlisted in the Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2016, under the category Prescribing.

Professor Azhar Farooqi, Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted the project has been shortlisted and recognised for the benefits to local patients.

“As part of the ongoing project, we are trying to teach people about responsible antibiotic use. If people take a course of antibiotics when they don’t need to, a resistance to the antibiotic will occur. The antibiotic will no longer be as effective at killing the bad bacteria that makes us poorly and essentially a new antibiotic will need to be found.

“By only using antibiotics when it’s appropriate to do so, we can slow down resistance and make sure these life-saving medicines remain effective when we need them the most.

“We now know that most coughs and colds get better just as quickly without antibiotics.

Over the counter remedies and advice about coughs and colds are available from your local pharmacist and most people can manage a cough, cold and sore throat at home with these remedies, plenty of rest and plenty of fluids.”

The finalists will be announced on Thursday May 12, 2016.

For more information on the antibiotic guardian campaign visit the pages on the Leicester City CCG website http://bit.ly/1NS5kSb. More information about Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2016 can be found here http://antibioticguardian.com/antibiotic-guardian-annual-awards/.

ENDS

For interviews or more information please contact Liz Mattock, Communications Officer on 0116 295 4159 or liz.mattock@leicestercityccg.nhs.uk

 Notes to editors:

Clinical commissioning groups are groups of GP practices which are responsible for commissioning most hospital and community health services for people living in their areas. Under the Health and Social Care Act, every GP practice is a member of a CCG. CCGs are responsible collectively annually for approximately £60-£65 billion of the NHS budget.

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group became a statutory body in April 2013. Leicester City CCG represents 62 GP practices and serves a patient population of 380,000 patients.

 

Leicester City CCG is part of the Better Care Together programme.

 

Better Care Together is a five year partnership programme to transform health and social care in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR).

It brings together NHS, local authority and patient voice partners from across LLR to ensure that services change to meet the needs of local people. We want a local health and social care system that supports people through every stage of life, which

  • Supports children and parents for the very best start in life
  • Helps people stay well in mind and body throughout their life
  • Knows your history and can plan your health needs
  • Cares for the most vulnerable and frail
  • Has services available when it matters and especially in a crisis
  • Helps support patients and their loved ones when life comes to an end
  • Provides faster access, shorter waits and more services out of hospital.

www.bettercareleicester.nhs.uk

 

 

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